The Instigator
YassineB
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Envisage
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

The Statement 'God Exists' is Rationally Justifiable.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,819 times Debate No: 67479
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (108)
Votes (1)

 

YassineB

Pro

>>> If any of you wish to debate me, please let me know in the comments. & it would be nice if you can also include the line of reasoning you'll be going with.


The statement "God Exists" is rationally justifiable, in the sense that, the Positive Existence of God must be either:

- Deductively True.
- Inductively True.
- Empirically Unfalsifiable, though Rationally Expected.
- Logically Unprovable, though can be Rationally Expected.


My Postulates:

> Everything is itself. Or: A = A.
> Everything can not both be & not be. Or: A = not-(not-A).
> Everything must either be or not be. Or: If A & not-A, then A True, Or not-A True.
> Causality is - inductively - True. Or: for every event A there is a - inductively - necessary event B, such that, if B then A.


My Case:

- I will argue that whether the Law of Causality is necessary or not, there must exist & Uncaused Efficient First Cause.

- I will also argue that an Uncaused Cause can not be Contingent nor Plural.

- I will also argue that an Uncaused Cause is Empirically Unfalsifiable.

- I will define God as the Singular Non-Contingent Essential Existence Ucaused Efficient First Cause.

- I will also argue that, regardless of the correlation between Formal Logic & Cosmology, the existence of God can still be Rationally Justifiable.

=> I will then conclude that the statement "God Exists" is rationally justifiable.

* This set of arguments may be changed, to which I may add new ones or replace the current ones with other ones. However, the guidelines will stay more or less the same.


The BOF:


> My opponent have to prove that the Positive Existence of God is all the following:

- not-Deductively True.
- not-Inductively True.
- Empirically Falsifiable, Or not-Rationally Expected.
- Logically Provable or Disprovable, Or can not be Rationally Expected.
=> By disproving the arguments I am gonna advance.


First Round: Acceptence.

- Rounds: 5.
- Time to Argue: 72h.
- Max: 10,000 characters.
Envisage

Con

Acceptance
I thank Yassine for the challenge and accept this debate. Note that Yassine's definition of God is:

"Singular Non-Contingent Essential Existence Uncaused Efficient First Cause."

Thus, as Pro proposes, I will be arguing for the antithesis in this debate, that the statement "God Exists" (as defined) is not rationally justifiable.


Best of luck to Pro.

Debate Round No. 1
YassineB

Pro

I extend my thanks to Con & I apologise for not being able to do my part in time, an old friend came to visit me last night from another city & he is now staying with me. & so, I have been struggling to find the time to write enough, so as to allow Con to formulate his arguments.




Existence = Attribute subsequent to which an entity exists, & without which it doesn’t.


Essence = Attribute through which an entity is itself, & without which it isn’t.


Universe = ensemble of existent entities.



Eg. a Circle has the quality of being a circular, therefore, the essence of a circle is its circular form. But a Circle does not exist unless existence was attributed to it.



Event = caused entity, or existent entity.


Cause = a Cause of an entity B is a necessary event A without which B isn’t an Event.


Effect = B is an effect of A is equivalent to: A is the cause of B.



Argument: 1



Existence is necessary to itself, otherwise it wouldn’t be. Therefore, an Essential (necessary) Existence is necessary.



The Existence of the Universe either is the Essential Existence, or isn’t. In case it isn’t, then it necessitates an Essential Existence. In both cases, the Essential Existence is the Uncaused First Cause, as per the definition.



An Essential Existence can not necessitate its non-existence, non-contradiction. Therefore, an Essential Existence is True unconditionally (‘eternal’), & thus non-Contingent.



Argument: 2



The Existence of the Universe is either eternal or not, in case it isn’t, then it can not be the Essential Existence, as per the last point. In case it is, then:



- If the Universe is ever changing then it must change from one dynamic state to a distinct other or to a static state indefinitely. Thus, the sum of its states can not be infinite, otherwise for any given real state there will have been an infinite changes happening before that state, & subsequently the said state wouldn’t exist, absurd! (same thing can be done by taking any random series of Events in the Universe). Therefore, the Universe in this case can not be eternal.



- If the Universe is not ever changing, then it must have been static eternally before it changed. In that case, if the Existence of the Universe is the Essential Existence, then what caused the existence of change? If the Existence of the Universe generated the change, & it alone is the Essential Existence & thus the change isn’t. Therefore, after the change & since only the essentially existent static eternal Universe is the Essential Existence, the changing Universe isn’t the Essential Existence. If the Existence of the Universe din’t cause the existence of change, then there must be an Essential Existence.



=> In all cases, the changing Universe can not be Essential Existence.



Argument: 3



The Essential Existence is Singular. Otherwise for two (or more) Essential Existences & therefore mutually independent, if they are identical, then they are Singular, in case they aren’t identical then what caused the existence of change? It can’t be either of the two, thus there must be a third Essential Existence, & in that case, the two aren’t really Essential Existences, absurd!



Argument: 4



The Essential Existence render existing what was priorly not. Therefore, explaining inductively (abductively) Existence is impossible, since the Law of Causality is invalidated: or every event A there is a NO - inductively - necessary event B, such that, if B then A.




Time’s up. Sorry :'( . . ;

Envisage

Con

Introduction
I thank Pro for instigating this debate. I will not be responding directly to Pro’s arguments in this round, as I will be using this round to outline my negative case, which alone should be sufficient to negate this resolution. Best of Luck!


“Universe”
Please note for this round I am defining “universe” as the three dimensions of space, one of time, and all physical entities (matter, particles and radiation) that exist within it. This is different to Pro’s definition of universe, but since I am not directly addressing his arguments this round then my arguments will not commit the fallacy of equivocation. I will be explicit in following rounds when I do come to address Pro’s arguments directly.


Definition of God & Cognitivism
Note to voters this is a very atypical definition of God Pro has provided for this debate, hence my arguments against it are also going to be atypical. Pro needs to demonstrate a “Singular Non-Contingent Essential Existence Uncaused Efficient First Cause”, to borrow from zmikecuber, Pro needs to demonstrate all these attributes to uphold the resolution, which I daresay is a rather large burden to bare. I will work through each of these attributes and outline the framework of my arguments against them.

Singular This by fiat rules out multiple efficient, or both an efficient and a material cause.

Non-ContingentI presume Pro refers to Leibniz’s Modal Metaphysics and his definition of Contingency: “A proposition is contingently true if and only if it is true in this world and false in another world. A proposition is contingent if its contrary does not imply a contradiction.” [1]


Thus a proposition can be Non-Contingent if:

1. The proposition is false
2. The proposition is necessary (true in all possible worlds)

Given this debate is about justifying existence, then #1 is ruled out, thus Pro must demonstrate some sort of necessary entity. I will be arguing against this point and the notion of modal metaphysics.

Essential Existence –This seems to rely heavily on the presupposition of existentialism which depicts “essence precedes existence/existence precedes essence”. I will deal with this presupposition at length within this debate.[2]

Efficient First Cause- This presupposes the Aristotelian notion of causality. One immediate concern with this is “First Cause of what>”. I can only presume Pro argues that the universe is what is initially caused. I will also address this point within the debate.

Law of Causality

First, I would most importantly like to challenge this postulate of Pro’s. Which is as follows (underline mine):


Causality is - inductively - True. Or: for every event A there is a - inductively - necessary event B, such that, if B then A.”

The keyword here is “inductively”, although I challenge even this much to be true which I may discuss later. This law runs into David Hume’s famous ‘Problem of Induction’, where we can never justify a posterori claims about reality without assuming the principle of the uniformity of nature to be true.[4] The reason for this is that it is easy to draw up a prima facie set of circumstances where the future is different to what it is going to actually be, and even the past is different to what is was (such as in “Last Thursdayism”),[3] the exact same can be posited for the “law of causality”, for its straightforward to draw up a set of circumstances where causality doesn’t hold.


This is trivially demonstrated with quantum mechanics, which has a number of fundamental interpretations, some of which are truly indeterminate. I am not arguing that indeterminism is true, but the fact that all these interpretations of quantum mechanics (deterministic and indeterministic) provide exactly the same experimental (a posterori) predictions about reality, and therefore are equally coherent on the surface. It is not possible to know whether or not determinism is true via. a posterori (and therefore inductive) means.

This hits the notion of causality, since there is no longer a justifiable fundamental reason why for example, one uranium-238 atom will decay at time x, where a second uranium-238 atom in identical physical environment would not decay (which is what indeterminism entails). There is no cause for these events to occur differently, yet it’s logically consistent. Thus the law of causality is contingent, even if inductively true.

Uniformity of Nature
Any inductive claim needs to assume this principle, however how can we argue that the uniformity of nature holds when we have no “nature” in the first place> Remember, that a “first cause” necessarily must precede the universe, and by extension nature. The situation is in fact much worse than this, since ALL of our inductive claims about reality are necessarily made within our three dimensions of space and one of time ontology. Given that these dimensions are an integral part of what the universe is, then to make inductive claims about what is outside of the universe (as defined by dimensions) is completely absurd.


How can we possibly make justified claims about how the universe as a whole behaves when we only have inductive experience of what is within the universe> This extends to causality. Even if we could argue that the law of causality holds within the universe (inductively), we cannot possible argue it holds outside the dimensional universe, thus Pro’s critical postulate of the law of causality is necessarily unsound.

Incoherence of “The Law of Causality”
Moreover we have additional reasons to believe the law of causality to be flat out false when we talk about the universe as a whole. As Sean Carrol notes, the universe contains two features (and I argue, three) embedded that allow us to coherently talk about causality.


1. Laws of Physics
2. Arrow of Time
3. Time

All three of these are required for us to speak the language of causality, however all three of these elements are absent once the universe itself is out of the equation. If causality is incoherent without the context of the universe, then how is it possible for there to be a first cause *of* of the universe? Without the laws of physics, then we lack the unbreakable principles that don’t allow for things to “just happen”, without the arrow of time (which is predicated on entropy) then we cannot coherently talk about “before” or “after”, necessary in order to say “X caused Y to be”, moreover it also entails there is no absolute “first”. One way around this problem is to invent some second notion of “time” outside of the one that governs the universe, but then we are piling on assumptions rather than just rejecting the law.

Moreover, time itself is increasingly well-described within physics as just another dimension of space, thus the universe is a four-dimensional block universe (more on this later). IF this is true then it’s absolutely impossible to talk about causality in any inductive or deductive sense, since the concept of “being caused” loses its meaning.

Eternalism
To argue for a first cause also argues for the capacity for “change”, however the capacity for “change” is only possible if we have an absolute moving reference point (usually in this instance the notion of time in presentism). However, if there is no absolute moving reference, then there is no absolute “change”, and if the universe exists without an absolute moving reference, then the universe is unchanging, therefore cannot be caused.


In eternalism, the past, present and future are all equally “real”, the passage of time is emergent, or an illusion. There are several good reasons to accept this is the case from special relativity. In special relativity, each observer is found to have their own planes of references, with no “absolute standard”, by extension each observer has their own “plane of simultaneity” which is a small section of three dimensional space where all events are simultaneous. However because these individual planes of simultaneity diverge due to relativistic effects, then we end up with many different three dimensional universes, which strongly implies four-dimensionalism (and hence eternalism), otherwise we would end up with contradictory descriptions of the same three dimensional space at the same time t.[5]


Note that these are all inductively true from our understanding of time through science. If Pro wants to challenge these observations, then Pro needs to do so in a manner which does not undermine his postulate of the law of causality, which itself is an inductive truth (although I question even that much).

Reducio Ad Absurdum
Note Pro’s postulate, “Causality is - inductively - True. Or: for every event A there is a - inductively - necessary event B, such that, if B then A”.

If we assume that there is a “first cause”, then a knock down argument can be made:


A: There exists a first cause A (Assumption)
1. If there is a first cause A, then there is a necessary event A
2. The law of causality is true
3. If the law of causality is true, then event A has an inductively necessary event B
4. If event B has an inductively necessary event B, then necessary event B precedes event A
5. If necessary event B precedes event A, then there does not exist a first cause A
6. There does not exist a first cause A
C. A entails a contradiction, therefore A is false

1 is de facto true, 2 is a necessary assumption of Pro, 3 is true by definition. Rejection of 4 leads to contradictions in something both existing/happening and not happening/existing at the same time, and thus is absurd to reject and 5 is de facto true. Thus the only way to refute this reducio is to reject premise 2, but this is a critical assumption of Pro, thus his position is refuted.

Summary
Will summarise more fully later.

References

1. http://plato.stanford.edu...
2. http://plato.stanford.edu...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://plato.stanford.edu...
5.http://en.wikipedia.org...(philosophy_of_time)

Debate Round No. 2
YassineB

Pro

BOF:

It should be noted that Con, to deny my resolution, must disprove all of my arguments, for even if only one stands out, the resolution stands out too.


Clarification:

> Event: caused entity, or existent entity.

> Cause: a cause of an entity B is a necessary event A which which B isn’t an Event (as in caused entity).

> Efficient Cause: an efficient cause of an entity A is a necessary entity without which A isn’t an Event (as in existent entity).

> First Cause: uncaused Cause.

> If an entity has no cause, then it’s necessary.

> If an entity has a cause, then it’s contingent.

> Con tried to inductively falsify the existence of Fist Cause (or necessary existence) by applying my postulate on it, ignoring the fact that a First Cause is, by definition, not an Event, & thus does not obey inductive Causality. Which I clarified in R2 Argument 4.

> Con redefines the Universe, but since his definition is included in mine, it will not affect my reasoning.


Defence of: ‘The statement ‘God Exists’ is Deductively True’


- Existence is necessary to itself, because otherwise it would be contingent.

> If Existence is contingent then all existent entities are -in essence- contingent, & thus not necessary. The Universe, ensemble of all existent entities, is therefore, either -in essence- contingent itself, or not contingent & thus necessary.

>> In case the Universe is not necessary then it has an external cause. Its cause can not be contingent, because otherwise it would be part of the Universe. Therefore, the cause is necessary.

=> Therefore, in all cases, Existence is necessary to itself, & thus there is a necessary existent or: a -essence- Essential (necessary, non-contingent) Existence.

- The -essence of the- Essential Existence is Singular, in the sense that it is: Unique & Simple.

> Suppose we have two essential existences, they are thus mutually independent. Both are either identical (one) or not.

>> In case they are not identical, then there exists a difference. The difference is either necessary, or not.

>>> In case it’s necessary (i.e has no cause), then it’s an essential existence itself, absurd!

>>> In case it isn’t, then it has a cause. The cause is either one of two essential existences or neither.

>>>> In case the cause is either, then one of the two will precede the other, & thus neither will be mutually independent, Absurd!

>>>> In case the cause is neither, then another entity is the cause for the difference, & thus neither are essentially existent, Absurd!

=> In all cases, two non-identical essential existences (or more) are Absurd!


> Suppose we have a non-simple essential existence. With the same reasoning, suppose there are two parts in the essential existence. Both can not be essentially existent, & thus one of the two is, & thus the other isn’t.

==>> The -essence of the- Essential Existence is Singular (simple & unique).

*As per the definition of Efficient Cause, & the fact that it’s Singular, the Essential Existence is thus the Efficient First Cause, which I’ll be identifying with God.


Defence of the choice of definition
(not essentially part of the resolution, but will serve a purpose later)


- The Essential Existence is thus the sole cause of existence, i.e. it alone has the Attribute through which existence is attributed, that is Will. & thus all else is contingently existent.


- An Attribute of the Essential Existence is either the Essence itself or dependent on the Essence, otherwise the Essence would be dependent on the Attribute, & that’s absurd!

> Model-1: In case the Attribute(s) is(are) the Essence itself:

>>> Then, particularly, the attribute of Will can not change, otherwise it would violate Singularity. & thus all existent entities -subsequent to the attribute of Will- are existent from necessity, because, in this case, Will & thus Essence is necessary & so is its effect.

>> The Will in this case must be absolutely Free, for it & the Essence are one, & thus unconditioned & unrestricted.

>> & so, whatever exists is not just possible but also necessary, not from within itself, but because of the necessary absolute Will of the Essential Existence. In contrast, whatever does not exist is not just contingent but also impossible.

>> & Thus, The Essential Existence has a Will that encompasses all that is ever possible.

>>> Will entails: Knowledge & Power. Since all attributes are essentially one, they are all, thus, identical.

=> Therefore, in this case, the Essential Existence has absolute Free Will, has Knowledge of all that ever exists, & has Power over all that ever exists.


> Model-2: In case it’s dependent on the Essence:

>> Then all Attributes are separate from the Essence, though existent from necessity.

>> & so, everything contingent (not the Essential Existence) may exist or may not. Thus, prior to its existence, everything is equally inexistent. & therefore, the Will to attribute existence to the inexistent is absolutely Free, for all contingent entities (not yet willed into existence) are equally inexistent, there are no preferences.

>>> Subsequently, absolute Free Will entails absolute Power, for having the absolute choice of willing some contingent entities over others (prior to their existence) entails having the choice of willing all contingent entities, & thus having absolute Power.

>>> Moreover, absolute Free Will entails absolute Knowledge, for having the absolute power of choice from within equals having absolute Knowledge.

=> Therefore, in this case also, the Essential Existence has absolute Free Will, Knowledge of all that is ever possible, & Power over all is ever possible.

==>> The Singular Non-Contingent Essential Existence Uncaused Efficient First Cause is the One Creator (Originator), All-Powerful & All-Knowing, disjoint from all that exists. & thus appropriate for a definition of God.


Defence of: ‘the statement ‘God Exists’ is Inductively True’

> The Law of Causality is inductively True, & thus events are consecutive.

> An infinite succession of non-identical consecutive events, states, entities. . . would be impossible, because otherwise, any event or state in such succession would be preceded by an infinity of them, & thus never becoming actualised.

> Thus, an actual infinite in space or time is impossible, for there is a strict order in both Time & Space, & thus consecutive events or states are non-identical. & we know the Universe is finite in space, for its mass is also finite.

=> Ref to Argument 2.

- Con claims that -inductive- Causality can only be possible under the Laws of Physics & the Arrow of Time, & he even adds Time, however, he does not prove his claim. He has to show that Time precedes causality, which is unlikely, because according to quantum theory causality exists even beyond the barrier of Planck (i.e. atemporal causal quantum phenomenons), which suggest that causality precedes time itself. Either way I don't see the point!

- Con abusively confuses non-Causality with indeterminism. While it’s a well know fact that Causality is incontestable in quantum physics. Actually, quantum field theory (Dirac’s Equation) states that if causality is True then antimatter must exist, which we can empirically verify (positron) [1].

- As far as Physics are concerned, causality is inductively True. & it’s proven through Thermodynamics (entropy), Quantum Mechanics (wave function collapse). . .[2]

- In Special Relativity or even String Theory, causality is not violated either. The deterministic nature of SR does not allow effects to influence their causes, & so the arrow of Time is not violated.

- Con also claims that Causality is flat out false outside Time! I am interested in how Con can prove that. In contrast, it would be more rational to suggest causality outside the known Universe than to deny it, for if it’s true inside then maybe it’s true outside too. Again, I don't see the point.

- Con evokes the model of the Eternal Universe based on SR, however he does not prove it. While it’s an incomplete Theory & does not account for Quantum phenomenons.

>>> It should be noted that Con has to not just suggest another justifiable resolution other than my own, but he must falsify mine too, as to prove that my resolution is not rationally justifiable.

- Nonetheless:

> If the Universe, in reality, conforms to the Quantum model (Probabilistic) then Argument 2 R2 proves the Essential Existence corresponding to Model-1.

> If the Universe, in reality, conforms with the SR model (Eternalistic) then, the Universe would be eternal in Spacetime, but that doesn’t say anything about the eternity of Spacetime itself.

>> If, then, the Spacetime is not necessarily existent, then it has a Cause, & thus falls under Model-2.

>> If the Spacetime is necessarily existent then it falls under Model-1.

=> Either way, God Exists, corresponding to either Model-1 or Model-2.


Defence of: ‘the Statement ‘God Exists’ is Empirically Unfalsifiable, though Rationally Expected.’

- God is the Uncaused Cause, & does not, thus, obey the Law of Causality, which then invalidates Abductive Reasoning. Because, Abductive Reasoning states: for every given fact, there is a sufficient, though not unique, possible plausible verifiable explanation. An Uncaused Cause is not an Event, it, by definition, does not have an explanation, & thus can not be empirically verifiable.

- God is Rationally Expected, because, the Universe either has an explanation or doesn’t. In case it does, then it corresponds to Model-2, in case it doesn’t then it corresponds to Model-1.



Sources:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...;

Envisage

Con

Preface:
I flatly disagree with Pro that I need to disprove all of his arguments to defeat the resolution; I only need to show the resolution is unsound. Pro defined God as:


“Singular Non-Contingent Essential Existence Uncaused Efficient First Cause”

He needs to demonstrate all of these elements to fulfil the resolution, simply demonstrating something singular exists, or some essential existence exists is insufficient to demonstrate that. As such disproving just one of these attributes is sufficient to negate.

To make things worse for Pro, his entire argument is formed with the foundation of something that has essential existence, since all his subsequent arguments presuppose an essential existence. Thus just refuting this as a matter of factly causes his tower of cards to topple, as the foundations have been swept out. I will deal directly with Pro’s arguments this round.

Semantics
I strongly object to Pro’s switch in definitions of ‘necessary’. Indeed a common notion of necessary means ‘could not be any other way’, and metaphysical necessity refers to ‘no world can exist otherwise’. Both Pro and myself make several instances of the use of this word throughout this debate clearly with my definition in hand.

As a result I reject the notion that ‘if an entity has no cause it is necessary’. Since it’s not incoherent to posit possible worlds where things are different, yet not via. causality. Thus the world would be entirely contingent, yet uncaused.

=Rebuttals=
Argument 1

“Existence is necessary to itself, otherwise it wouldn’t be. Therefore, an Essential (necessary) Existence is necessary.”

I have re-read this about 30 times, and I have yet to see an argument. There simply isn’t an argument here, and this can be trivially shown by sticking Pro’s points in a syllogism:

P1. ? ? ?
P2. Existence is necessary to itself
C. Therefore an Essential existence is necessary

Pro has yet to jump this sizable gap between his one premise and the conclusion. This entire debate literally hinges on this one argument for Pro. If he fails to uphold this his entire case fails.

Moreover, premise 2 is just a bare assertion, as his only defence is ‘otherwise it would not be’, this is not an argument. I am a millionaire, otherwise I would not be. To make things worse still, Pro is treating the notion of existence itself like an existing ‘thing’, which even under Cartesian Essentialism (which I will address fully later) is absurd, as existence is simply the difference between an essence that is actual, and one that is not actual.

Furthermore, Pro makes an enormous jump between something being the ‘Essential Existance’ and something being the ‘First Cause’. With no justification for this logical jump. If the universe for example is an essential existence, then the universe can just exist as-is necessarily, and causality would just be an emergent phenomena. There would be no ‘first cause’ any more than a triangle has a ‘first side’.

Pro’s last argument, that Essential existence must exist necessarily is false IF the notion of an ‘essential existence’ is metaphysically incoherent.

Argument 2
I argued in my opening that eternalism is a potent and coherent ontology of time, and thus is at least logically possible. Moreover, eternalism is compatible with either a finite or infinite universe. Pro’s arguments against an eternal universe presuppose presentism, where there is a real progression from past to present, from which his absurdity arguments might hold some weight. However Pro has given absolutely no reason to believe Presentism is true.

In eternalism, the entire universe exists at once, the past present and future all exist, there is nothing any more absurd about there being infinite changes than there is an infinite number of intergers. If all events past and present exist at once, then the present events would have already ‘happened’. Even under presentism however, Pro’s arguments presuppose there is an absolute ‘beginning’, or first moment in time, in an eternally changing universe this perfectly logical. Physical models such as eternal inflation (cf. multiverse) are built with similar notions, and are mathematically consistent.

Argument 3

Pro’s only argument here is that there needs to be a cause of existence of change between two independent essential existences. But gives no reason to believe that it even needs one, I could just assert they may be different just as a brute fact, remember that one essential existence just exists as a brute fact, so why not two that are explicitly different? To take this further, why not an infinite number of them? Also remember an essential existence is not subject to causation, thus to speak of the causation of these is absurd.

Argument 4

Pro gives no reason to believe that an essential existence, if coherent and true, has any causal power at all. Why it would indeed render the existence of the universe for example. Remember Pro explicitly defined causality to refer to ‘events’. This hits Pro since essentially anything that is not an ‘event’ (such as the universe as a whole in eternalism) is exempt. Thus I can just assert the universe exists contingently as a brute fact, and it would be logically consistent, and it would refute the notion that an essential existence is the first cause. Thus this ‘argument’ is unsound, even assuming it’s not a bare assertion.

‘The statement ‘God Exists’ is Deductively True’

“Existence is necessary to itself, because otherwise it would be contingent”

We can reject this entire argument simply by virtue that existence is not a ‘thing’ or an ‘it’. Thus existence is neither contingent nor necessary. Pro needs to clarify what he actually means by ‘existence’ here, as the argument is unintelligible.

=Negative Case=
Essential Existance – Descartian Essentialism
Rejection


Pro’s arguments for “essential existence” is founded upon Descartial Essentialism, which postulates that all objects have an undetectable property of ‘essence’, and an objects essence precedes its actualisation (essence precedes existence), or vice versa.

First, Pro has given absolutely no reason to believe this philosophy of descartian essentialism is sound, which this literally underpins his entire case. Other philosophies such as existentialism or existential nihilism are mutually incompatible with it, and existential nihilism doesn’t make the extra claim of this undetectable property of ‘essence’. Moreover, essentialism is essentially untestable on every level, since it doesn’t make any physical claims, why not just reject the useless presuppositions and simply refer to objects as “concepts that exist”.

A concept of an object is simply just a description of an object, and an object exists without the additional baggage of ‘essence’. Indeed, none of our physical laws cares about an object’s intended purpose, it’s history, and it’s future, they only describe the state it is in ‘now’.

For example, this philosophy would argue that two physically identical lumps of gold are inherently different purely by virtue of their manufacture methods. If one lump of gold was simply a remelted natural gold nugget, and the other was chemically extracted, each nugget would have a different “essence”, yet this would no impact at all on a posterori experience of the lumps of gold. The lump of gold made one way ‘has’ something the other does not.

Incoherence

Essentialism runs into serious problems when existence is treated like a property or predicate, as Pro is attempting to do with his arguments, and including that property within the essence of it. Fact is if we can do it for one thing, then we can predicate existence into virtually any description coherently. We could define something as “an Australia that orbits the moon that exists”. Clearly it’s not the case that such an object actually exists in reality, thus we can conclude that the description must be logically incoherent somehow. Given that ‘an Australia’ is easily coherently defined, heck we have an example of it on Earth at this very moment, and that an Australia that orbits the moon is a coherent concept, the problem must lie when we apply the ‘that exists’ portion of the definition.

Thus, we would need to expect very good reasons why an ‘essential existence that is the first cause’ is metaphysically coherent, but ‘an essential existence that is Australia shaped and orbits the moon’ is not. Moreover, Pro would need to do this without committing the special pleading fallacy. To make the claim existence is a predicate is to also make the claim that existence adds to the essence of a being, but this is evidently false since by positing an essential existence and THEN stating ‘this thing exists’ we are simply making an incoherent statement “this thing that exists, exists”.

Immanuel Kant notes that it is not incoherent to deny the existence of something that by exists essentially as contradictions only arise when with both the subject (God) and the predicate (existence) are both sustained, the non-existence would simply deny the predicate. Given we have no contradiction internally in denying the predicate, and externally is a matter of metaphysics, it no longer follows it exists necessarily. He argues that a concept is a conditional, thus for example if a triangle exists, then it necessarily has three sides. Similarly, if an essential existence exists, then it exists necessarily (all metaphysically possible worlds will contain it). However this makes no progress on the question on whether or not it actually exists.

Moreover, such notions of essentialism are predicated on having a sound foundation of pre-ontology, which is the study of what we mean by ‘being’. While we have an approximation of what we mean by “to be” or “is”, the notion still escapes precise conceptual understanding. Thus to posit “something exists”, and the much more extreme jump in Pro’s case to say something has “essential existence” is a massive jump in ontology when we do not have an adequate foundation in pre-ontology to do so.

Debate Round No. 3
YassineB

Pro

- I must confess, English is not my native language, & on top of that I have studied Philosophy in another language, & so it has been a bit of challenge to figure out which corresponds to which between my native language & English. I hope the voters would understand my position since I could be making semantical mistakes without even being aware of them.

- That been said, I will try to clarify more my core argument so as there won’t be any ambiguity. I would just like to add, Con defines necessary as ‘true in all possible world’, which deductively means: true in all cases, which I have proved. But then Con abusively uses this definition in its inductive sense, & tries to falsify my argument based on this dubious move!



Argument-0:


- As I stated repeatedly throughout my argument, which Con seems to ignore every instance, when I speak of cause it’s either in the sense of inductive causality (in part 2), or in the sense of existence (in part 1):

> An entity that is existent spontaneously by itself, & thus without a cause, must be necessary, because otherwise, it would, by definition, be contingent. If that is so, the entity then may or may not exist & thus its existence potentially fails. & so the question rests: what is the agent of its existence, is it internal to it, or external to it? If the agent is internal to it, then the entity must exist necessarily, because then it wouldn’t fail to exist; but if the agent is external, the entity must thus be contingent.


- The existence of a particular or universal object ca either be: necessary, or not necessary: possible or impossible. For, there are existent entities -since otherwise nothing would be existent!-.

=> Thus, Existence is either necessary or not (contingent).

> If Existence is contingent then all existent entities are contingent, & thus not necessary. The Universe (ensemble of all existent entities) is therefore, either contingent itself, or not contingent & thus necessary.

>> In case the Universe is not necessary then it has an external cause. Its cause can not be contingent, because otherwise it would be part of the Universe. Therefore, the cause is necessary, necessarily existent.

=> Therefore, in all cases, Existence is necessary. In other words, ‘There is a necessary existent’ is true in all cases, & thus True.



Rebuttals:


- Con tries to argue that the world may be entirely contingent, yet uncaused! I don’t know what to say to that! Or maybe he is just thinking of inductive causality again.


- Con considers my assertion in R2: “Existence is necessary to itself, otherwise it wouldn’t be. Therefore, an Essential (necessary) Existence is necessary.” as unsupported, ignoring the fact that I proved it in R3 (& as I mentioned before, R2 was only there to allow Con to formulate his arguments)


- Con wants a syllogistic reasoning:

P1. ? ? ?
P2. Existence is necessary to itself
C. Therefore an Essential existence is necessary

>>> Which I find very odd, because my reasoning (proof by cases) is equivalent to syllogism.



‘premise 2 is just a bare assertion, as his only defence is ‘otherwise it would not be’, this is not an argument.’

- Apparently Con hasn't read my R3!


‘To make things worse still, Pro is treating the notion of existence itself like an existing ‘thing’’

- There is no argument here! This is just semantics, whether Existence is a thing in itself or just an attribute doesn’t change anything in my argument. Which oddly Con confirms later: ‘existence is simply the difference between an essence that is actual, and one that is not actual’.

‘Pro makes an enormous jump between something being the ‘Essential Existance’ and something being the ‘First Cause’.’

- Here again Con insinuates inductive causality! The Essential Existence as I defined it is, by definition, the First Cause, there is nothing to prove here (ref. my definition of First Cause) -cause in the sense of existence- (since there is one Essential Existence, it must, by defintion, be the First Cause).


‘the universe for example is an essential existence, then the universe can just exist as-is necessarily, and causality would just be an emergent phenomena. There would be no ‘first cause’ any more than a triangle has a ‘first side’.’

- I am starting to wonder if Con ever read R3 or just jumped on R2 without doing so! Here again Con ignores the fact that I actually mentioned the case of the Universe being necessarily existent. & he once more confuses inductive causality with existence (which may be my fault after all, there might be more precise semantics I could’ve used but couldn’t find).

- & thus this supposition Con makes is already convered by my Argument.


‘Pro’s arguments against an eternal universe presuppose presentism. . . Pro has given absolutely no reason to believe Presentism is true.’

- Con again somehow ignores the fact that I did a proof by cases in R3, in which I supposed both Eternalism & Presentism & concluded in both cases that there exist a God (either according to Model-1 or Model-2). I did not presuppose that either are true. I presupposed however, & for good reason, that Causality is inductively True, & thus Presentism is a more consistent explanation, while Eternalism is not, because its based on SR which is incontestably an incomplete theory.


‘there is nothing any more absurd about there being infinite changes than there is an infinite number of integers’.

- Well, I agree, except there is this thing called Causality (or Arrow of Time), which imposes a beginning & consecutive finite successions. Besides, we know the Universe is finite in Time & in Space (as SR postulates). Hence my favouring the Presentist model.

- If Con wants to disprove my second statement: ‘Inductively True’ he has to prove that Eternalism is true while all else is false, or at least proves that Causality (or the Arrow of Time) is incoherent or illogical.
- Even in such case, one could easily argue that: if Eternalism based on SR is true, then all the Universe’s events are equally present, & thus, all the Universe’s event last, in the present, for 1 Plank Time, which says that the Universe actually lasted for 1 Plank Time. For, the Universe is only eternal within the Spacetime, which does not allow us to conclude on the eternity of Spacetime itself!


‘I could just assert they may be different just as a brute fact'

- Here Con provides no argument, as he has been doing so far!

- My Argument was simple: if the Essential Existence (EE) was not unique, then the answer to the question: why is it so? only leads to absurd conclusions.

- Asserting that there are two different EE as a brute fact, begs the question: where did the difference or the separation come from? & as I demonstrated (proof by cases), the answer to that question is absurd, which was made clear by Con right after his assertion: ‘remember an essential existence is not subject to causation, thus to speak of the causation of these is absurd.



‘Pro gives no reason to believe that an essential existence, if coherent and true, has any causal power at all. Why it would indeed render the existence of the universe for example. Remember Pro explicitly defined causality to refer to ‘events’.’

- For the gazillion time, Con confuses the two definitions of causality, which I stated clearly in R3! I am officially sorry, I could not find another word for it.

- An Essential Existence had causal power in the sense that it is the agent that makes the difference between what is contingently existent & contingently non-existent. That is because, all else other than the Essential Existence is contingent & thus caused (made) to exist, & the cause of that as I demonstrated in Argument-0 is defined as the Essential Existence.

‘I can just assert the universe exists contingently as a brute fact, and it would be logically consistent. and it would refute the notion that an essential existence is the first cause.’

- Well, if the Universe (as I defined it) exists contingently then it must have been made to exist by the Essential Existence. & that’s exactly what I demonstrated in Argument-0, which again Con seems to ignore.



We can reject this entire argument simply by virtue that existence is not a ‘thing’ or an ‘it’. Thus existence is neither contingent nor necessary. Pro needs to clarify what he actually means by ‘existence’ here, as the argument is unintelligible.

- Semantics again! (a side I am not very well equipped with in Englih) But, fair enough, the way I studied it: Existence is either used as a Universal entity itself, or as an Attribute added to the Essence, which in real objects: existence would be identical to essence. Chose whichever works for you, either way the argument doesn’t change.

- This is not a debate on whether existence is an ‘it’ or not, this is a debate on the necessary existence of something (even if this something turns out to be Existence itself).



‘Pro has given absolutely no reason to believe this philosophy of descartian essentialism is sound. . . A concept of an object is simply just a description of an object, and an object exists without the additional baggage of ‘essence’. . . they only describe the state it is in ‘now’.’

- This is a Strawman Fallacy I was not expecting Con to use!

- None of this affects the Argument. The Argument is simply not conditioned by whether objects exist & have a Universal Essence, or are just particulars.

- This whole section is utterly obsolete.



‘Thus, we would need to expect very good reasons why an ‘essential existence that is the first cause’ is metaphysically coherent, but ‘an essential existence that is Australia shaped and orbits the moon’ is not.’

- Simple, make the difference between what is Universal & what is Particular, which in any case, doesn’t change my argument.

- The rest of Con’s Argument is no argument at all, in which Con trie to argue against R2 without accounting for R3.

Envisage

Con

Preface
Note I didn’t directly respond to round 3, as I wasn’t sure if they were just additional arguments. For this round I will address both mostly Pro’s Round 3.


Semantics

*Sigh*


So Pro is mixing and matching words to suit his needs. Pro never provided the definitions he was working with in his opening round, thus I accepted this debate assuming the most common terms used in Philosophy. I am seriously left scratching my head at what his arguments are actually saying now.


Pro uses the words ‘necessary’ and ‘contingent’ very differently to the common notion of these words. They have very precise definitions, and given this argument is ontological, then it follows that these definitions are used. Looking up these terms on Wikipedia for example yields no notion of ‘caused/uncaused’. [1] Thus voters should penalise Pro for not being clear in the definition of God from the outset. Furthermore Pro mixes and matches the use of necessary to mean both ‘uncaused’ and ‘impossible otherwise’ in his arguments, thus it’s clear it’s Pro who falls foul of using poor semantics.


Now Pro says he didn’t mean inductive the way I proposed it. When pro argues “inductively true” it’s clear Pro is referring to epistemology, which induction is one form. Thus his alternative meaning of the work is again moving the goalpost. I made arguments how the law of causality cannot be inductively true.


Reducio Ad Absurdum

Pro objects to my reducio on definitional grounds, however Pro defined ‘event’ in Round 2 as:


“caused entity, or existent entity.”


Thus, God by definition falls into this category; hence the reducio ad absurdum remains logically valid. Pro’s entire position is thus self-refuting. If Pro wants to argue God is not an event then he needs to argue that God is neither a caused entity, nor an existent entity, thus ruling God non-existent and conceding this debate.


Pro cannot just chop and change definitions when he doesn’t want them to apply to God. That’s just asinine and absurd. I literally see no way for Pro to refute this reducio without conceding Premise 2, which also refutes his position.


Thus the reducio shows that both the law of causality and a “first cause” cannot both be true. Pro cannot escape this by just defining it so, if only life was that easy. The presence of a non-gravitationally bound object would falsify the statement that “all objects are gravitationally bound”, thus the existence of a first cause would falsify a law of causality.


Essential Existence

Pro gives two definitions in his opening:


Existence = Attribute subsequent to which an entity exists, & without which it doesn’t.

Essence = Attribute through which an entity is itself, & without which it isn’t.


I am going to challenge that these definitions are coherent. Pro argues last round that existence is a property and defines it so, but gives no reason to believe we can do this. I don’t concede this at all like Pro argues, he quote-mines me as I never conceded the notion.


Moreover Pro makes no argument that essentialism is valid, it’s far from semantics as it’s literally the legs that hold up Pro’s entire case(!) since he treats existence like an attribute which can just be tagged into an entity’s essence (essential existence). Thus he must affirm that it is true otherwise he is literally just defining something with existence and calling it ‘God’.


I made arguments such as the Australia argument, and denial of the predicate to show that treating existence as a property is incoherent, and Pro has made no defence of this, thus concedes this critical point. When we make the description of something, for example a ‘red apple’, we agree that the description describes the object IF it exists. The word ‘red’ isn’t isomorphic with the effect of red, and the word apple isn’t isomorphic with the geometry of an apple. Thus, a prima facie case can be made that an object’s description is only a conditional statement about the concept IF it existed. Thus it is incoherent to posit ‘existence’ with the properties, and it would also entail that ‘non-existence’ would also be a property, yet we end up with a description that is not a description – a clear contradiction.


Pro defined first cause as “uncaused cause”, this is not the same as an “essential existence”. Pro makes no argument that this essential existence has any causal power, for example if we assume Platonic realism, then abstract objects such as numbers etc. also exist necessarily, yet they lack any causal agency.[2] Thus to posit some random essential existence as an exception is just a case of special pleading.


Necessary vs. Contingent Existance

Even assuming Pro’s notion of existence as a property is coherent, his arguments still fail, since if the universe was uncaused (necessary, according to Pro’s loose definition), it doesn’t follow the universe is the first-cause because this would just be a fallacy of composition. All the components within the universe would be caused, but none of them would be caused by the universe itself. This is possible in self-contained causal networks for example. A simple case for be “A causes B which Causes C which causes A”. Thus each of the components of the conjunct “ABC” are caused, yet the conjuct “ABC” is itself uncaused, and the conjunct itself has no causal effect itself.


Uniformity of Nature

Pro drops my argument that all inductive claims (such as the law of causality) needs to presuppose the uniformity of nature to hold, which I argued is obviously not the case when talking about the physical universe (my definition) as a whole. Pro affirms exactly my point when he argues that causality holds in various physical environments, which may be true however… they’re physical! They are within all our universal construct with the laws of physics, time and time directionality. I have no idea how Pro can make such a monumentally massive assumption that the law of causality holds outside of any physical construct.


Pro didn’t touch my reasons for this either, it is time that give us our frame of reference of what caused what, without time there would be no ‘before’ or ‘after’, this is also the case without the arrow of time. Thus how can Pro possible make the sound be that the case that the inductive principles we use within our universe, where A causes B, actually holds when time is removed from the equation> Inductively, we know causes precede effects, thus Con is going to shoot himself in the foot when he asserts it still applies outside of that context.


Moreover, it is because of the laws of physics that the Earth doesn’t randomly move around space, or plunge into the Sun. The universe provides the construct by which these laws are realised. Thus naturally without these constraints that the universe imposes, why should we expect things to still act according to laws (the law of causality).


The uniformity of nature simply doesn’t hold, and thus Pro’s monumental claims of causality holding are patently absurd. Furthermore even Pro’s case posits at least one thing that is uncaused, thus to posit things are uncaused (although not metaphysically necessary) is not prima facie absurd at all. Pro must assume it is absurd however for his arguments to remain valid.


Causality & Physics

Pro misunderstands the point I was trying to make by arguing that indeterminism is logically consistent. I am arguing that there is no reason for us to accept the law of causality as something that holds at a fundamental level, one reason often posited is the principle of sufficient reason (PSR). However, in indeterminism the PSR doesn’t hold, as there is no reason for differential states (two uranium-238 atoms giving two different products in identical starting conditions).


Thus, we know that not all phenomena necessarily need a causal explanation, such as the differential quantum tunnelling effects. The law as we know it is an empirical law (inductive), and not a logical law (a priori/deductive), and like any other scientific law, we have no reason to believe it would hold outside of the universe’s existence.


Moreover Pro demanded a cause in where the difference between two essential existances comes from. I ask, why do two essential existences need a cause if it’s coherent for them to have one without one? He is demanding an explanation where he has no right to demand one.


Eternalism

Pro seems to confuse what I mean by eternalism, which is just an ontology of time, from which there are numerous sub-ontologies, such as the moving spotlight theory, etc. Thus Pro’s objections to it being incomplete and against QM are off-target (QM works just fine in such a construct anyway, cf. Quantum Eternity Theorum). Pro has given no reason to think eternalism is false, and it necessarily must be false otherwise Pro’s arguments are invalid because there is no genuine ‘change’ of the universe in eternalism (e.g. from non-being to being), which renders half of Pro’s arguments invalid, as they all do presuppose there is genuine change (argument 2, Inductive Defence, argument against actual infinites, etc.). He argues that the universe must have a beginning thus eternalism is false but this completely misunderstands what eternalism is. Eternalism is completely compatible with a finite (in time) universe, the universe’s beginning would be no more impressive than a ruler has an edge.


Further, I gave reasons to believe eternalism is likely true from special relativity, however I do not need to prove this to show Pro’s arguments are unsound, Pro doesn’t have this same luxury though, as he is the one making the necessary presuppositions.


Conclusion

So far I have demonstrated that God is incoherent by both reducio ad absurdum, and attacking the notion of essential existence. Pro's arguments have been extremely vague, with numerous dubious presuppositions such as with what existance is, and if it can be predicated.

References

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...

2. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 4
YassineB

Pro

Although it’s probable that I may not have used some terms properly, which is justifiable by the fact that I haven’t learned them in English, semantics should matter less than the meaning behind them, & throughout my arguments I did define these terms accordingly to my use of them, & so regardless if these terms bear technical meanings elsewhere, in the context of my arguments they bear the definition that which I provided.


Rebuttals:


Reducio Ad Absurdum

- This is how I defined causality in R1:

‘For every event A there is a - inductively - necessary event B, such that, if B then A.’

> The key word here being ‘inductively’.

- Following R2 - Argument4: ‘Explaining inductively Existence is impossible, since the Law of Causality is invalidated: for every event A there is NO event B, such that, if B then A.’

=> Existence based ‘causality’ (Efficient Cause of an existent entity) is inductively unfalsifiable, & thus does not obey the Law of Causality, in which case the definition of Cause & Event follows the one I gave in R3:

R3: Cause: a cause of an entity B is a necessary event A which which B isn’t an Event (as in caused entity).

=> & does not follow the definition of Efficient Cause which deals with Event as in existent entity:

R3: Efficient Cause: an efficient cause of an entity A is a necessary entity without which A isn’t an Event (as in existent entity).

=> Thus, Con’s reducio ad absurdum isn’t valid because it’s taken outside of its context, that is from being inductively falsifiable (caused entities) to what is inductively unfalsifiable.


Essential Existence

- Con gives no arguments to doubt essentialism, he simply questions it! & the only problem Con raises is how to define existence, & not Existence itself. His argument is based on descriptivism which is supported by very few philosophers, & runs against serious problems when examined. [1]

- Also, in my line of reasoning, Existence is a coherent notion, for it’s attributed existent entities & not to inexistent entities, the paradigm with which descriptivism is not compatible.

- It’s also good to note that unless Con successfully falsifies my argument, it should stand. & arguing for alternate philosophical views without disproving my own should not stand, for my resolution is intended to prove what is Rationally Justifiable, & so as long as my view is rationally justifiable, regardless of the rationality of other alternate views, it will still be valid.


"Pro makes no argument that this essential existence has any causal power"

- That’s a false claim. I defined that which is caused to exist as caused, & which causes all entities to exist as Essential Existence. & that’s at the core of my Argument-0.

if we assume Platonic realism, then abstract objects such as numbers etc. also exist necessarily, yet they lack any causal agency.

- Too many assumptions with no arguments. Con is beating around the bush & not attacking my argument directly.

- Plus, numbers as abstracts exist only in the case where counting is possible, & thus in the case of the singular Essential Existence, numbers would not even exist as there is no count. & so, they are not necessary existent! Thus Con’s example is self-defeating.



Necessary vs. Contingent Existance

"if the universe was uncaused it doesn’t follow the universe is the first-cause All the components within the universe would be caused, but none of them would be caused by the universe itself."

- Con uses an Ad Hoc argument (& I suspect unknowingly):

> First, he uses AGAIN, inductive causality, & not efficient causality (non-existence to existence). There are two definition, my ‘deductive argument’ uses efficient causality, my inductive argument uses inductive causality, it’s not that hard to keep track!

> Second, the Universe as the sum of existent entities is an entity itself, & thus, if Con wishes to use it, he has to define exactly the nature of the Universe, is it a simple sum of existent entities? or is it a set that is different from its components? Either way, my Argument-0 would not change, for I have argued for both cases whether the Universe is the Essential Existence, or not.

> Third, arriving at an absurd conclusion by supposing the Universe is the Essential Existence only leads to rejecting the supposition & NOT the Argument itself.

"I have no idea how Pro can make such a assumption that the law of causality holds outside of any physical construct."

- Con must have been imagining arguments I did not advance at all! I did not contest that Causality presupposes the uniformity of nature, which is EXACTLY like saying Causality is inductively true, I would contradict myself if I did such a thing.

- It’s up to Con to disprove of the Uniformity of Nature in order to disprove my inductive claim.


"Thus how can Pro possible make the sound be that the case that the inductive principles we use within our universe, where A causes B, actually holds when time is removed from the equation"

- Con is here again beating around the bush. I mentioned in R3 that there are atemporal quantum causal events which suggest that Causality may precede Time, & as I commented (in R3) right after: ‘Either way I don't see the point!’

- Plus, in R2 A4, I demonstrated that -inductive- Causality does NOT hold in the case of Efficient Causality (the process of Existence).

- Con is trying to attack randomly anything I am saying without clear line of reasoning!

- Also, unless I am wrong, Con undeniably concedes to the -inductive- truth of Causality in this paragraph.


"Pro’s monumental claims of causality holding are patently absurd."

- That’s another Strawman Fallacy! Inductive Causality holds within the Universe, who said anything about it being true beyond the Universe!


"Pro’s case posits at least one thing that is uncaused."

- This is the xazillion time Con uses Causality (inductive) & extrapolate it to the other definition of Causality (efficient = made to exist), which make me suspicious of ulterior motives!

- Uncaused: (as defined) is NECESSARY EXISTENT. It’s a simple definition, Con is trying to use definitions other than my own to falsify mine! That’s absurd!


Causality

"no reason for us to accept the law of causality as something that holds at a fundamental level, one reason often posited is the principle of sufficient reason (PSR), in indeterminism the PSR doesn’t hold."

- Con makes an incoherent big claim without supporting it by correlating the validity of Causality with PSR.

- One notion that falsifies Con’s argument is the CPT symmetry, which is the most recent convention of Causality according to Quantum Physics. [2]


"Thus, we know that not all phenomena necessarily need a causal explanation.
"

- Con is probably using some particular definition of Causality & forcing it on Quantum Phenomenons & then concluding on Causality in general. We’ll never know, because he hasn’t provided any explanation for his position.


"we have no reason to believe it would hold outside of the universe’s existence."

- Yes, so what?! Con probably run out of arguments & resorted to some weird pointless manoeuvres to argue against something completely irrelevant to our subject. Don’t tell me you’re still hang between efficient & inductive causality, maybe somewhere else there is some correlation between them, but in this debate they are not the same thing.


"I ask, why do two essential existences need a cause if it’s coherent for them to have one without one, He is demanding an explanation where he has no right to demand one."

- No such thing. Apparently Con forgot about argument, I demanded the explanation of the non-equality between these two essential existences, & not the essential existences themselves, which through proof by cases leads to absurd conclusions, because of the fact that these essential existences don't need a cause.


Eternalism
:

"Pro has given no reason to think eternalism is false, and it necessarily must be false otherwise Pro’s arguments are invalid because there is no genuine ‘change’ of the universe in eternalism (e.g. from non-being to being) which renders half of Pro’s arguments invalid"

- It’s up to Con to prove that Causality is false. I don’t particularly object to Eternalism, I object to Eternalism being the only truth, if indeed it was true, & Con provided no proof for such claim. Either way, my Argument will still be valid.


"Eternalism is completely compatible with a finite (in time) universe, the universe’s beginning would be no more impressive than a ruler has an edge."

- My argument was not about the fact of finite events in Time, it’s about finite successive events in Time contained by Causality.

- & true Externalism may be compatible with a finite Universe, & that doesn’t say anything at all about it’s factual eternity, for outside Time, the Universe is inexistent. & even inside Time (not the flow of time, there is a big difference), the Universe could have lasted 1 plank time & no physicist would’ve noticed.

"Further, I gave reasons to believe eternalism is likely true from special relativity, however I do not need to prove this to show Pro’s arguments are unsound."

- I did my part of the BOP, it’s up to Con to contest my arguments. Just providing alternate likely explanations doesn’t affect my argument at all, for his explanation may be rationally justifiable as is mine, & thus my resolution stands.


Conclusion

- Con failed in every instance to falsify my arguments, & he either redefines my own definitions & attack them thereafter which is irrelevant, or proposes alternate explanations without disproving mine which does not affect my resolution ; or contradict himself by asserting at one point inductive Causality & denying it the next paragraph!


Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...;

Envisage

Con

I thank Yassine for this debate.

Preface

Thusly we come to the end of this debate. I am somewhat frustrated by Pro’s case, which is riddled with poor precision in language, unsupported presuppositions, and definitions that change on a whim. Pro probably disagrees with this, but I will leave that much to the voters to decide. I feel a quote from Tim Hoare is an appropriate description of this debate:

“There are two ways of constructing a piece of software: One is to make it so simple that there are obviously no errors, and the other is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious errors.”

Good debating conduct, and philosophical conduct is to define all terms, especially controversial ones before one begins debating. Here we had Pro introducing definitions in round 3. I honestly don’t know what to say.

=Negative Case=

Reducio Ad Absurdum

Did Pro ever define what he meant by inductively in this debate> Even after I raised the point that inductive was clearly being used epistemologically (which is obviously the incorrect definition for Pro). Because as it stands, Pro has STILL yet to state why the law of causality applies to everything but God (the simple fact he’s defined as an uncaused cause does not get around this! It only helps affirm it!). Invalidating the Law of Causality is the same as falsifying the law of causality, this is only affirming the reducio.

Pro can define ‘cause’ and ‘efficient cause’ all he likes, it still doesn’t get around the fact that an ‘event’ is defined as an ‘existent entity’, which is what the law of causality requires.

Pro is trying to square the circle here, it just doesn’t work, a contradiction is a contradiction and Pro has done nothing to escape this simple fact. He even drops my point that God IS an event as defined, which was his first objection. If voters can see otherwise, then please by all means vote Pro and show me how my analysis here is incorrect.

If this argument succeeds, then Pro’s entire case goes out of the window.

Cartesian Essentialism

It is now, in round 5, that Pro finally provides some support for his crucial presupposition of essentialism. Despite having 4 rounds to do so. I made 3 main points, and 3 sub-points against Cartesian Essentialism:

  1. 1. It’s not parsimonious
  2. 2. Lack of Sound Pre-Ontology
  3. 3. Existence is not a predicate
    1. a. Coherence of denying the predicate
    2. b. Predicating existence to Australia
    3. c. Non-existance would also be a predicate

Given this presupposition is absolutely essential for Pro’s case to get anywhere, Pro failing this area undermines his entire case as I have continuously alluded to this debate.

Pro’s only arguments for essentialism are an argument from ignorance where he demands I prove essentialism false first, which is a blatant shifting of the burden of proof. Pro is making the necessary presupposition thus Pro needs to justify it. His other argument is an attack on descriptivism, which I do not necessarily need to advocate. Moreover he doesn’t actually attack descriptivism, he just asserts it. I also mentioned existentialism and existential nihilism in this debate, both are mutually incompatible with essentialism. Pro has made no attempt to show why we should prefer essentialism over other views. His arguments thus are already unsound.

  1. 1. Parsimony

Pro drops my arguments that essentialism is not parsimonious (it makes additional, unsupported, unnecessary assumptions). Thus fails Occam’s Rasor.

  1. 2. Lack of Sound Pre-Ontology

This point was hand-waved away by Pro as irrelevant, yet it is the most fundamental philosophy. Pro cannot hope to make claims about what existence is and whether it can be predicated or not in essentialism IF he doesn’t have the concept of ‘being’ worked out. If ‘being’ in principle cannot be conceptually encapsulated, then obviously it is impossible to predicate it.

  1. 3. Existence is not a predicate
  2. a. Pro drops my Kantian argument about the coherence of denying the predicate (thus an essential existence doesn’t necessarily entail existence, it is a conditional).
  3. b. Pro essentially drops my argument from Australia, which if valid demonstrates that attributing existence at part of an essence is not sound. His only defence “Simple, make the difference between what is Universal & what is Particular”… is incomprehensible (tell me otherwise).
  4. c. Pro drops my point that existence being a predicate would also entail non-existence being a predicate, which is obviously incoherent, since we would have an essence that doesn’t exist (which contradicts the very nature of an essence).

Thusly, all of Pro’s arguments automatically fail at this domino.

Causal Power of Essential Existance

Pro has STILL made no argument that essential existence has any causal agency. Pro can’t simply ‘define powers’ to an essential existence. An essential existence only exists by it’s own nature (essence), that’s what essential existence means! It says absolutely nothing about it’s causal agency.

Just because an ‘essential existence’ itself is uncaused doesn’t mean that it is the only possible uncaused entity. Thus simply arguing all caused entities need a cause (duh), doesn’t follow that the essential existence IS the cause, or even can be in principle. I brought up Platonic realism as an example of such a case. Pro’s argument against it is to assert the essential existence would entail numbers do not exist… but that would only be the case IF numbers existed by their own essentially, which is not necessarily the case.

Necessary vs Contingent Existence

How the heck is it an ad hoc argument if I am showing a coherent set of conditions by which Pro’s reasoning fails> It doesn’t matter what notion of causality is used (I assumed inductive, and Pro has poorly defined the law of efficient causality), it is beside the point. I showed a coherent set of circumstances where:

  1. 1. The universe exists without a cause (necessary, according to Pro’s definition)
  2. 2. The universe itself doesn’t have causal agency
  3. 3. All components of the universe are caused
  4. 4. There is no ‘first cause’

Thusly, Pro’s assumption that IF the universe is necessary, then the universe is the first cause is false, because I have shown one set of circumstances where this doesn’t apply. Moreover, the universe is not necessarily an essential existence in this case. Furthermore, IF we assume the universe is an ‘essential existance’, then I showed a set of circumstances here where it is also not the ‘first cause’, despite grounding everything within the universe. The reason being is that all causes occur simultaneously (since there is no time). Thusly both Pro’s inductive and deductive arguments fail.

Uniformity of Nature

Pro ignores that quantum mechanics is a physical theory, which is predicated on nature existing. I didn’t address Pro’s quantum arguments since they weren’t made seriously (no evidence given either), but also just because it’s beyond the planck time (within the first tiny fraction of a second) does in no way show it works outside time! Being very early in time doesn’t mean you are no longer temporal!!!

Pro concedes exactly what I have been saying this entire debate:

“- That’s another Strawman Fallacy! Inductive Causality holds within the Universe, who said anything about it being true beyond the Universe!”

Exactly. My. Point.

Even if inductive causality holds within the universe, we have no reason to believe it holds outside of that context. Thusly all of Pro’s arguments about how the universe behaves outside of that context are invalid.

Thus, we have good reason to:

  1. 1. Doubt the uniformity of nature holds without nature existing
  2. 2. Doubt the law of causality holds

Thus:

  1. 1. The universe as a whole is not necessarily subject to the same laws that occur inside the universe

Thus, if the law of causality doesn’t hold for universe, then none of Pro’s arguments that necessitate a first cause are valid.


Singularity

“No such thing. Apparently Con forgot about argument, I demanded the explanation of the non-equality between these two essential existences”

Pro ignores my argument, that he doesn’t have the right to demand an explanation of the non-equality because he conceded the (“inductive”) law of causality doesn’t hold. Thusly, all his reasons for the singularity of an essential existence fail.


Eternalism:

Pro misunderstands the consequences of eternalism, which entails there is no objective ‘change’, and there is no objective ‘cause’ to the universe, and the universe itself doesn’t ‘cause’ anything itself. Thus both his deductive and inductive proofs fail.

Pro invents ad hoc arguments against an eternalism universe, such as “that doesn’t say anything at all about it’s factual eternity, for outside Time, the Universe is inexistent”. Pro hasn’t even attempted to show that ‘factually eternity’ is a metaphysically coherent notion. Let alone proven it.

The universe ‘existing for a planck time’ is an incoherent statement since the universe is the boundary of time in eternalism, that would be like saying the volume of the sphere that is outside of the surface of the sphere, it’s logically incoherent! The sphere… just is. It’s atemporal.

Conclusion

I am glad this debate is finally over. Pro’s case is like a series of dominos, all fo which must fall perfectly for his conclusions to follow. If one domino fails to fall, then they all fail to fall. Pro’s arguments are based on numerous dubious presuppositions regarding change, essentialism, the principles of causation. Most of his arguments run into semantic issues and thus voters should penalise them appropriately

Thanks Yassine for the debate, best of luck in the voting.

Debate Round No. 5
108 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by YassineB 1 year ago
YassineB
@bluesteel

- Thanks for showing your true colours, & thanks to you I am leaving this debate charade all together.

Bye.
Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
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>Reported vote: Sidewalker // Moderator action: Removed<

4 points to Pro (conduct, arguments). {RFD = Reasons for voting decision: I had to read through this debate multiple times to determine my vote because both debaters were quite effective. In the end I think that con argued something different than what pro was arguing, while pro stuck to the resolution and initiating round. Pro's argument was the resolution, while con truncated it to simply argue that God does not exist. Con essentially moved the goalpost and shifted the burden of proof and seemed to project his own efforts to do so onto pro, which caused my vote for conduct to go to pro. Let me clarify my agreeing with pro before and after, I certainly agree that the statement is rationally justifiable, but I would take a completely different approach and will probably start a debate to that effect in the near future, in short, I agree that the statement "God Exists" is Rationally Justifiable before and after, but I disagreed before and after with the first cause argument to rationally justify it. In any event, con failed to defeat pro's reasoning.}
Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
[*Reason for removal*] (1) Arguments. Being long does not save an RFD if it says nothing of value. The following things are not helpful feedback to the debaters: (a) sidewalker had to read the debate multiple times, (b) sidewalker agreed with Pro before and after the debate, (c) widewalker intends to do a similar debate in the future. The only argument-point-justification that is offered here is: Con moved the goalposts by simply arguing that God does not exist. However, this is not a sufficient justification for the following reasons: (a) it is a factual lie -- Con's Round 2 was all about whether you can use logic to establish God's existence; Con did not merely argue that God does not exist, (b) the RFD fails to explain *why* arguing God's non-existence is moving the goalposts; if God does not exist with absolute certainty, then his existence seems like it cannot be rationally justified, (c) in any event, "Con moved the goalposts" only explains why Con's case was not successful; it does not explain why Pro's case *was* successful; the only thing offered in this RFD about why Pro *was* convincing is " con failed to defeat pro's reasoning"; this is insufficiently specific -- it fails to explain why Con's rebuttals failed; (d) sidewalker admitted personal bias [agreeing with Pro before and after the debate] so his vote is already issued under suspicious circumstances, and (e) sidewalker said he did not find the First Cause argument from Pro convincing, so he seems to have find that Pro *was not convincing,* so his vote seems inexplicable. (2) Conduct. This RFD engage in double counting. It uses "Con moved the goalposts" as its primary reason for awarding both arguments and conduct. You can't double-vote in this way. Conduct points should not be used to punish arguments that a judge did not find persuasive.
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Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
[*Reason for removal*] (1) Arguments. Being long does not save an RFD if it says nothing of value. The following things are not helpful feedback to the debaters: (a) sidewalker had to read the debate multiple times, (b) sidewalker agreed with Pro before and after the debate, (c) widewalker intends to do a similar debate in the future. The only argument-point-justification that is offered here is: Con moved the goalposts by simply arguing that God does not exist. However, this is not a sufficient justification for the following reasons: (a) it is a factual lie -- Con's Round 2 was all about whether you can use logic to establish God's existence; Con did not merely argue that God does not exist, (b) the RFD fails to explain *why* arguing God's non-existence is moving the goalposts; if God does not exist with absolute certainty, then his existence seems like it cannot be rationally justified, (c) in any event, "Con moved the goalposts" only explains why Con's case was not successful; it does not explain why Pro's case *was* successful; the only thing offered in this RFD about why Pro *was* convincing is " con failed to defeat pro's reasoning"; this is insufficiently specific -- it fails to explain why Con's rebuttals failed; (d) sidewalker admitted personal bias [agreeing with Pro before and after the debate] so his vote is already issued under suspicious circumstances, and (e) sidewalker said he did not find the First Cause argument from Pro convincing, so he seems to have find that Pro *was not convincing,* so his vote seems inexplicable. (2) Conduct. This RFD engage in double counting. It uses "Con moved the goalposts" as its primary reason for awarding both arguments and conduct. You can't double-vote in this way. Conduct points should not be used to punish arguments that a judge did not find persuasive.
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Posted by YassineB 1 year ago
YassineB
- You too Envisage. :)

- I am still waiting for our next debate.
Posted by Envisage 1 year ago
Envisage
GG Yassine.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
Wylted
Debates outside of acedamia should be geared towards the layman. (For the most part)
Posted by Envisage 1 year ago
Envisage
*Shrug* I messaged n7, Zmikecuber and Ajab to give some comments, although Ajab will not vote.
Posted by johnlubba 1 year ago
johnlubba
Although this debate provides logic that is way out of my depth,
It's easily obvious that both RFD'S offer me nothing to conclude from the debate.

Conclusion:

Bogus
Posted by YassineB 1 year ago
YassineB
@Adam_Godzilla

- Adam I am gonna be strait with you: why are you voting if you don't understand the arguments? That's absurd!!!! I reported your vote, you provided absolutely no reason that would justify your vote.
- It's true what you said, if one is not familiar with the philosophical concepts, one can not possibly really understand what the arguments are about. In your case, by your own admission, you don't understand them either, so then how can you judge what you don't understand?! How can you know if my arguments are rationally justifiable or not, & obviously they are, since I didn't make them, they were made by great philosophers, I just translated the stuff into English.

'[Pro] fails to convince me that the statement god exists is rationally justifiable'
- Of course, I am waiting for someone who has some background in Philosophy to judge, you don't possess the tools to measure what is rationally justifiable & what isn't!

'This failure to reach out to non philosophers is why I award con argument points'
- That's the most incoherent thing in your whole argument, it's a dual incoherence. The debate is in the category of Philosophy, it's not meant for those who are not familiar with it, go check the other -real- debates about Philosophy (such as those of Ajabi), if you don't know it, you won't understand it, for the simple reason that it is a specialty, not a common subject.

'It seems pro is hoping a philosphist at a level like pro or con to vote on this debate'
- Exactly, I am. It's just natural :) . Who do you think will be able to judge a topic about, say, quantum physics? Of course someone who studied quantum physics. Similarly with a philosophical debate, you need to be a student of philosophy to judge philosophical arguments.

- Finally, I would much prefer the vote goes Tide than have an unjustified vote, for me or against me.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Adam_Godzilla 1 year ago
Adam_Godzilla
YassineBEnvisageTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I was going to award Con conduct since pro did not define his words and concepts very well. I find pro unable to sufficiently get across his points in a concise and easy to understand manner. Pro is probably knowledgeable about this subject but ultimately fails to convince me that the statement god exists is rationally justifiable. It seems pro is hoping a philosphist at a level like pro or con to vote on this debate. But that is not the case and likely very few can decipher what essential existence means to pro. Con seems to be confused as well. However, even after con had requested clarification on certain points, pro did not manage to be clearer. I have faith pro means well and that to a high level philospher, all that he says makes sense to some degree. This failure to reach out to non philosophers (i believe to be the majority of us) is why I award con argument points as consequence of pro not being clear enough but at the same time not neccessarily breaking rules of conduct.